The ketogenic diet is a way of eating that is based on a low-carbohydrate, high fat platform. Proponents of the diet claim that it promotes weight loss, boosts energy levels, helps to control blood sugar & blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and reduces the risk of heart disease. The keto diet works by retraining the body to use fats as its main energy source instead of glucose. This is achieved through a biochemical process called ketosis, which mimics the state of starvation where the body uses fats and converts them into ketones. In order for the body to reach ketosis, a strict diet must be adhered to involving the ingestion of 70-75% fats, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates daily. This can be a hard formula for some people to stick with and it can also cause the temporary side effects of dizziness, headaches, brain fog, nausea, and irritability for the first several weeks of induction.
The foods to be avoided on the keto plan include whole grains, beans and legumes, starchy vegetables, high carbohydrate fruits, alcohol, sugar, and low-fat dairy products. It is encouraged to obtain nutrients from a variety of sources such as avocados, fish, eggs, coconut and olive oil, and non-starchy vegetables.
Although short-term studies have shown that following this type of diet can provide some health benefits, there isn’t any solid evidence to support long-term health advantages. It is for this reason that the ketogenic diet remains controversial among healthcare providers. However, proponents remain faithful to this eating plan and many have experienced positive health effects. In addition, the keto diet may not be suitable for everyone so always contact your healthcare provider before starting any diet plan.
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